(10:15 a.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its third Breakaway-Plus Class ship, Norwegian Bliss, today in Bremerhaven, Germany. The ship is the 13th to be built for the cruise line by Meyer Werft.
Highlights of the 4,000-passenger vessel include the largest go-kart racetrack at sea (it's 40 percent bigger than on Asia-based fleetmate Norwegian Joy), a 20,000-square-foot Observation Lounge that spans the entire forward section of the ship, two looping waterslides, an outdoor laser tag course, and the Waterfront, which boasts al fresco seating for 13 restaurants and bars.
"Norwegian Bliss is one of our most highly-anticipated ships to date, and today marks another exciting milestone for the newest and most innovative ship of our young and modern fleet," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.
Norwegian Bliss leaves Bremerhaven today for Southampton, from where it will depart on a transatlantic sailing to New York City. It will then make its way down the coast of the United States, through the Panama Canal and up the west coast before being christened in Seattle by godfather Elvis Duran on May 30.
It will spend its first summer sailing weeklong Alaska cruises from its homeport of Seattle. In fall 2018, it will offer three Pacific Coastal, Mexico and Panama Canal voyages before arriving at its winter homeport of Miami, from where it will sail seven-night Caribbean cruises.
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor